A. Graham and the Moment Band

Usually we listen to local albums this religiously only when we have crushes on members of the band. In this instance, such crushes are lacking, but This Tyrant Is Free sounds so much like our favorite late-’90s indie rock — Pavement, Palace Brothers, the Halo Benders — that we’d listen to these guys even if they came from, like, Portland or Austin or any of those Places Good Bands Come From. On the first song, “Glorious,” a bona fide choir sings, Glorious, triumphant, optimistic, transcendent! Another of the album’s gems is the jingly “Lazar Y Caroline,” an instructive anthem fit for anyone who thinks military service is a fate to avoid. Guys pining for girls isn’t exactly a new theme, but the album’s closing ditty, “So Many Girls,” is refreshingly honest and silly. Even your possessive girlfriend will like it. Now, we know what you’re thinking: Doesn’t this band practice in the basement of the Pitch’s assistant calendar editor? And doesn’t said editor, Michael Vennard, pimp the band tirelessly? Yes. But because this is no longer the late ’90s, Palace Brothers is now Bonnie Prince Billie and Pavement’s Steve Malkmus has inadvisably gone solo, how could we let a little conflict of interest stop us from helping wayward shoe-gazing music fans find this local beacon? That’s right. We couldn’t.

Categories: Music